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September 13, 2011

Invisible Planet Found 650 Light-Years Away

I found this very interesting article on Time.com. A Harvard Graduate student has found a remarkable way to discover new exoplanets within our universe. However, the most amazing thing about all of this is that the certain planet found is invisible! Hopefully through this new found method more planets will be discovered in a very short time. There is a short excerpt included below along with a link to the original Time article.

"Searching for planets around distant stars isn't easy. A few of the hundreds of extrasolar planets discovered so far have been found the old-fashioned way — by taking the planets' pictures through powerful telescopes. But the vast majority have called for more ingenious approaches. Planet hunters have found extrasolar planets by watching for the subtle wobble in a star's position as a planet's gravity tugs it back and forth. They've noted the almost imperceptible dimming of a star's light as a planet passes between it and Earth. They've seen a distant star twinkle, first brightly and then faintly, as a nearer star, and then its planet drift by.

But a new way to find planets may be the most ingenious yet. Writing in the Astrophysical Journal, Harvard graduate student Sarah Ballard and several colleagues have announced the discovery of a world orbiting a star about 650 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Lyra, whose presence was revealed by its gravitational pull on another planet — a planet that itself can be detected only indirectly."


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2092448,00.html#ixzz1XscWLZYG

Posted by tmthirty at September 13, 2011 07:51 PM

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